Combining only the finest natural ingredients blended with a contagiously friendly stand owner, this is the gelato stand for you. All Screme products are made without any oil, eggs, preservatives, or food coloring. This gelato bar developed its line of natural products by drawing from the Italian tradition of preparing gelato fresh daily before the customers’ eyes. With a vast array of innovative flavors, Screme offers both dairy and non-dairy options. Its a bit on the pricey side but with the unparalleled quality, happiness, and extra toppings thrown in, it’s worth the price of admission.
Located down a flight of stairs on the basement level of a nondescript building, Noi Due is an absolute gem for fine Italian fare. The ambience is very New York, low-lit, busy and glamorous, and the food is pure Italy. They don’t accept reservations, but the fresh, authentic food makes it worth the wait. They emphasize fresh baked breads such as olive and feta flatbread and rich tapenades. Every entrée is a winner. Their desserts and coffees are very European and heavenly, especially the traditional tiramisu and the more inventive cheesecake. Topped with friendly service, a warm atmosphere, and convenient location, Noi Due is not to be missed.
Prime KO is a Japanese steakhouse that blends modern and authentic cuisines from Executive Chef Makoto Kameyama’s native Japan, serving up delectable steaks with an Asian twist. The appetizers are a highlight, with a favorite being Crispy Rice with spicy tuna. Many choose to make a meal of appetizers and skip entrées to enjoy the widest experience for the dollar. Recommended entrées include the exquisite L-Bone steak, the shabu shabu sliders, and sea bass skewers.
My Most Favorite Food
My Most Favorite Food is the latest evolution of a restaurant experience steeped in authentic European roots. My Most Favorite Food makes its home on the Upper West Side as a chic restaurant, bakery and catering company. The food is absolutely incredible and a reservation is a must. Best for breakfast and brunch, with Sunday brunch being a legendary, not to be missed experience. Look out for the challah french toast, Provençal omelet with gruyère, shiitake mushroom and caramelized onion and poached eggs with Florentine sautéed spinach, whole wheat toast, and hollandaise sauce.
My Most Favorite Food, 247 W 72nd St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 997 5130
SoomSoom Vegetarian Bar
A charming, build it yourself falafel joint tucked away in the cheap food desert of Lincoln Center, Soomsoom is a step above the competition. You order a pita pocket, a salad, or plate and load up on goodies from the salad bar that include peppered onion, cabbage salad, various savory sauces, chickpeas, and much more. The falafel is delicious and the bread is fresh and warm. Fill the salad bowl to the rim for an excellent low carb meal. Soomsoom also offers fresh mint lemonade (limonana) with hand crushed mint leaves, sugarless minted iced tea, passion fruit juices, and other delicious, fresh-squeezed juices. The falafel is crispy and flavorful, the pita soft, the free zatar crisps addictive, and the salads colorful.
Grill 212 offers a variety of authentic, traditional Yemenite and Middle Eastern cuisines. A hole in the wall, only in New York shawarma joint with the most underrated food in Manhattan, Grill 212 features huge portions, affordable prices, and great quality products such as specialty Yemenite soup, made with only the finest fresh ground spices from the Middle East. The free salad bar that comes with some of the entrées, is fresh and offers many different deliciously seasoned veggies. What makes Grill 212 truly shine is their outstanding customer service. They make everyone feel welcomed and special, so put this little find at the top of your list when it comes to Upper West Side restaurants for the amazing food and phenomenal hospitality.
Amsterdam Burger Co
Kosher burger joints have to compete with their non-kosher competition without the option of topping their creations with cheese, and often cower in the shadows. Yet Amsterdam Burger rises above the pack and distinguishes itself. Never accompanied with cheese, as per kosher standards, the burgers are massive, plump, juicy and innovative. The menu boasts a variety of burgers, sandwiches, and bar style appetizers. Notably, all beef burgers, hot dogs and sausages are made from pasture raised, antibiotic free, and hormone free meat. Add a mason jar of sweetened iced tea and some peanut butter mousse for dessert, and you’re ready to go.
With locations on the Upper East and Upper West Sides, Saba’s UWS location is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Offering specialty pizzas such as the vodka sauce, bruschetta, Saba’s (cheese first and then sauce) in addition to the regulars like cheese, black mushroom and black olive, as well as white pizza, their offerings are universally excellent, with not too thick, not too thin crusts. Especially beloved are the buffalo mozzarella pies. The food is tasty, fresh, and has exciting and delicious combinations. Pizza here is lighter and cleaner tasting, never greasy. Seating is tight, but they have some beautiful outdoor dining options.
Kabash BBQ and Grill
The atmosphere at Kasbah BBQ is warm and inviting, with unexpected touches such as the Chabad-style propaganda décor, a unique choice for a barbeque place. Top recommendations include the pastrami burger, the BBQ beef burger, the BBQ roast beef sandwich, and everything from brisket to ribs to sushi. Also adored are the steak au poivre, the Argentinean filet, and the famous mashed potatoes. The chicken soup is comfort food done right and if you are in the mood for sushi, the fiesta tempura roll is excellent as well. For dessert, try the fudge cookie with non-dairy ice cream.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean, a California staple, is exactly what the Upper West Side has always needed, a spacious, non-Starbucks, delicious coffee and other beverage place with a calm atmosphere and workspace. Drinks are excellent, with flavors being added with powder rather than syrup to make drinks thicker and richer without the addition of extra cream. They have a gourmet selection of hot and iced teas, including the famous Ice Blended. Don’t miss the amazing dark chocolate latte. They can be a bit slow in getting the drinks out, but this place is great when you’re not in a rush. Pastries are also good, if not superb.Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 532 Amsterdam Ave (between 85th St & 86th St), New York, NY, USA, +1 212 799 0870